Prof. Evans Talks Lit Law at NJ Beach Writers Retreat

UPDATE: Event was canceled, to be rescheduled in 2014.

The North Wildwood Beach Writers, in conjunction with Atlantic Cape Community College, will host their first Autumn Retreat on Oct. 27. The registration deadline is October 17th.

This one-day seminar, a satellite of North Wildwood Beach Writers Conference held in June every year, focuses on protecting your rights as an author.

Guest speaker is Tonya M. Evans, Associate Professor of Law at Widener University School of Law and an attorney specializing primarily in intellectual property (copyright and trademark).

Tonya is also a performance poet, singer and writer, and the author of numerous books, including “Literary Law Guide for Authors: Copyright, Trademark, and Contracts in Plain Language.” Her short story, “Not Tonight,” appears in “Proverbs for the People.”

In the afternoon, award-winning author Don Helin, (“Devil’s Den”) will discuss his perspective. Attendees will receive Continuing Education Credits from Atlantic Cape Community College.

The Retreat takes place at Jessie Creek Winery, 1 N. Delsea Drive in Cape May Court House, NJ from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. A continental breakfast, gourmet lunch, and networking wine tasting are included.

Visit for details and registration form. Or e-mail


Evans: Prof, Poet & now Photog in Widener U’s Evening of the Arts

Credit: Tonya M. Evans, Wisdom Whispers Photograpy 2013
Credit: Tonya Evans, Wisdom Whispers Photography 2013

As a bit of a renaissance woman, I have a passion for all things intellectual and expressive. In fact, before becoming an Associate Professor of Law, I was known as “Lawyer by Day, Poet by night“. I am also obsessed with capturing the creative while viewing life through my lens.

I’m not trained (yet). But I am inspired to capture creative shots, especially city views and nature scenes. As an intellectually curious person and life-long learner, I always seek new opportunities for creative expression. With the advent of high-tech smart phone digital camera technology, I fell in love with the photographic images I captured throughout my travels.

After receiving an announcement from public relations Director Mary Allen about the Widener University’s “Evening of the Arts”, I decided that it was time for my photos to have a life beyond my smart phone and Canon PowerShot. Although not high-end photog gear to be sure, I’ve managed to shoot some beautiful photos and to nurture my creative curiosity in the photographic medium.

About the Photographic Exhibit

All five of my images are Continue reading “Evans: Prof, Poet & now Photog in Widener U’s Evening of the Arts”

Evans Presents Legal Side of Writing Teleclass for “Write Your Book in 30 Days” Participants

On Thursday, August 8th, Professor Evans will present the popular Legal Matters that Matter teleclass  to over 2000 members of the “Write Your Book in 30 Days” Challenge, created by Andrew Morrison and co-facilitated by Joy Farrington.

About The Legal Matters that Matter to Writers Teleclass
LWPdotcom_april2011It is an informative and engaging presentation tailored specifically for writers and independent publishers who want straightforward, clear, and concise answers to the most common and pressing legal issues in the publishing industry. After attending this workshop you will understand:

  • how copyright is created and protected
  • what is considered a fair use in print and on the Internet
  • what can and cannot be copyrighted
  • how legally to refer to real people, places, and events in one’s own work
  • the real deal about the myth of the Poor Man’s copyright
  • the critical timing of when to register your work with the Copyright Office
  • the most common contracts involved in securing, licensing and transferring copyright and other rights
  • things to consider when you are sealing the deal

Image of Literary Law Guide for AuthorsThe workshop is based on the award-winning Literary Entrepreneur Series of books Literary Law Guide for Authors, Copyright Companion for Writers and Contracts Companion for Writers.

About “Write Your Book in 30 Days”!
The Write Your Book in 30 Day! Challenge was created by Andrew Morrison and is co-facilitated, Joy Farrington.
During the challenge (which happens several times each year), participants are encouraged to write a 70-100 pages book that will help them brand their brilliance. Andrew and Joy believe that a book is the new business card and share with participants how to use their book to:
  1. Build their brand
  2. Gain New Customers
  3. Build Trust with Potential Customers
  4. Attract Media Attention
  5. Build an Author Platform
  6. Becoming known as an Expert in their Industry
  7. Creating a Stream of Passive Income

Click here to participate in the challenge & this EXCLUSIVE teleseminar

EVENT: Prof. Evans presents at the 2012 Lutie Lytle Writer’s Conference

I am excited to present my current work-in-progress, The Innocent Infringer Defense in the Age of Electronic Files and Fences, at the 2012 Lutie A. Lytle Black Women Law Faculty Writing Workshop at Suffolk University School of Law in Boston, MA (June 28-July 1).

Now in its sixth year, The Lutie A. Lytle conference is an annual workshop for current black women law faculty and those black women who are considering law teaching. It is named in honor of the life and work of Lutie A. Lytle, the first black woman to teach in an American law school.

This work-in-progress highlights the innocent infringer problem in the electronic goods context in greater detail. I trace the historical roots of the innocent infringer defense and policy considerations in Anglo-American copyright law. Next, I explore the history and role of statutory damages in copyright jurisprudence and the propriety of such an approach in general. Additionally, I analyze whether copyright should remain a strict liability offense in the digital age.

Finally, I explore ways the existing law can be changed to provide optimal or at least improved legislative and judicial relief to innocent infringers. One idea is to offer innocent infringers in the digital context “safe harbor” provisions similar to those offered to online service providers by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act for secondary liable. In the final analysis, I argue that any truly effective change would encourage the benefits to society that justify a copyright monopoly in the first place and better safeguard the innocent consumer in the digital age.


Evans to Present at Third Annual IP Roundtable at Columbus School of Law

On November 18, 2011, The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law will host the Third Annual Intellectual Property Roundtable.  The Roundtable was formed to promote both discussion of a range of issues in intellectual property and networking.  The Roundtable is an annual opportunity for academics to learn about the ongoing research of fellow scholars.

Title:  Intellectual Property Roundtable
Date:   November 18, 2011
Time:   12:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Info: Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law

Evans, who teaches Copyright & Trademark, intellectual property seminars, and a year-long first-year Property course, will present her current work-in-progress titled Reverse Engineering Copyright: Sampling Patent to Remix Copyright. The paper asserts that copyright reform initiatives should “sample” (that is, borrow from) patent policies to “remix” (that is, inform and reform) copyright jurisprudence. Specifically, this article explores the role that “reverse engineering” and other patent policies have played in protecting the “space” second-generation inventors enjoy to build upon and around existing inventions that justify the patent monopoly. Professor Evans asserts that this approach both empowers creators to access existing works for certain purposes and at the same time still protects rights holders in a way that honors the IP Clause’s directive to secure certain exclusive rights. Such an approach is particularly vital in collaborative and cumulative creative genres like music as well as other performance art forms born traditionally out of collaboration and cumulative creative effort. Accordingly, patent policy should be “sampled” to remix copyright.

Professor Presents Work-in-Progress at IP Scholars Conference at DePaul

Intellectual Property Professor Tonya M. Evans was selected to present her work-in-progress, Sampling Patent to Remix Copyright (aka Reverse Engineering Copyright), at 11th Annual Intellectual Property Scholars Conference. The conference is hosted this year at DePaul University College of Law  Center for Intellectual Property Law & Information Technology (CIPLIT). The Conference is a joint effort of CIPLIT and the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology, Boalt Hall School of Law; the Intellectual Property Law Program, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University; and the Stanford Program in Law, Science and Technology, Stanford Law School.

Professor Evans’ paper explores further the general arguments and assumptions presented in her latest article Sampling, Looping and Mashing … Oh My!: How Hip Hop Scratched More Than the Surface of Intellectual Property Law, 21 Fordham Intell. Prop. Media & Ent. L.J. 843 (2011). In her current work, she asserts that copyright reform initiatives should “sample” (that is, borrow from) patent policies to “remix” (that is, inform and reform) copyright jurisprudence. More specifically, copyright law must be reformulated to achieve an optimal balance between a copyright holder’s exclusive rights and the legal “space” a second generation creator needs to build upon existing works to create new ones. This, she argues, is essential for collaborative and cumulative creative genres like performance and visual arts.

The IP Scholars Conference brings together intellectual property scholars from across the country and the world to present their works-in-progress in order to benefit from the critique of colleagues. The Conference includes both plenary and “break out” sessions on all IP-related topics, including but not limited to Copyright, Trademark and Unfair Competition Law, Patent, Trade Secret and Cyberlaw.

A list of presentations and more information about IPSC and CIPLIT is available at:

Evans Delivers the Capstone Black History Month Lecture Titled Thurgood Marshall: The Justice, the Legacy

On Wednesday, February 23, 2011, Assistant Professor Tonya M. Evans will deliver the capstone lecture in the Legal Perspectives in African-American History Lecture Series. The series is sponsored by the Black Law Students Association of Widener University School of Law – Harrisburg (BLSA-Harrisburg). Her presentation is titled Thurgood Marshall: The Justice, the Legacy. Marshall was a brilliant and accomplished lawyer who graduated first in his class from Howard University School of Law. He was also a civil rights advocate and the first African-American member of the Supreme Court of the United States (1967–91).

As an attorney, he successfully argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954), which declared unconstitutional racial segregation in American public schools and overturned the “separate but equal” law of the land that had persisted since the decision in Plessey v. Ferguson.

In her remarks, Professor Evans seeks to expound on and extend the remarks delivered earlier this month by Professor Starla Williams. Professor Williams provided extensive coverage of the landmark case, Brown v. Board of Education, spearheaded by Marshall. Professor Williams focused on the profound and pervasive impact of Brown on segregation and education in America.

Professor Evans, a graduate of Howard University School of Law and former Editor-in-Chief of that school’s Law Journal, focuses more directly on the life and legacy of Justice Marshall. She intends to explore not only the esteemed biographical history of Justice Marshall but also his significant impact and tireless efforts in remedying racial disparity and injustice within the legal system. Professor Evans will highlight lesser known but still impactful cases like Murray v. Pearson and Chambers v. Florida, which prepared the essential groundwork leading up to Brown.

Justice Marshall’s legacy continues to positively affect the lives of students, lawyers and Americans even to this day. His contribution to the legal landscape of the United States forever changed its foundation. Additionally, Marshall was also an integral participant in drafting the first constitutions of African nations Ghana and what is now known as Tanzania. His legacy and contribution crossed borders and impacted lives across the world.

Click here for more information on the BLSA Legal Perspectives in African American History Lecture Series, including presentations by Professors Randle Pollard and Starla Williams.